Cannes 2018: Romain Gavras' 'The World is Yours' is Ludicrously Fun
by Alex Billington
May 27, 2018
There are not that many comedies that play at the Cannes Film Festival every year, only a few good ones slip in. The World is Yours, titled Le monde est à toi in French, is the latest feature film made by acclaimed music video director Romain Gavras. The film is a comedy about a small-time drug dealer from Paris who as aspirations to get out of the drug world once and for all, and settle down selling Mr. Freeze ice pops in Morocco. The biggest thing in his way - his own mother, who actually is one of the top gangsters in the city, and still has a steady hand on all of his money. This film plays like Snatch meets Spring Breakers with some serious French attitude, a mobster "coming-of-age" for the new age that is so much ludicrous fun. It's about time Gavras breaks out and gets the attention he deserves as a talented, always-fresh filmmaker with spunk.
The World is Yours introduces us to François, played perfectly by Karim Leklou, who runs a drug ring in Paris. Things are going well and he decides it's finally time to pull one last job, get out, and move down to Morocco working in a much safer business. This also means moving out from under his mother's watchful eye, and that proves to be harder than he expect because she has spent all of his savings. Isabelle Adjani plays his mother Dany, and she's a force to be reckoned with; without an extensive amount of presence on screen until the second half. The final job takes him and a few of his cohorts to the Spanish coast and the beach resort city of Benidorm, where things don't go as planned, but they try their best to fix the problem themselves before returning home empty-handed. It's amusing and wacky, and deeply satisfying to watch.
The film has an assortment of colorful, zany crime-world characters, each one as wacky as the next. It's this beautifully rich assortment of characters that reminds me of Guy Ritchie's Snatch, but this has a different feel to it. Gavras is a music video director, which means he has a knack for flashy cinematography and an impeccable taste in music used throughout, but this never gets in the way of his ability to tell a story with captivating characters. François is a very goofy character, immature and childlike, but yet still yearning to be someone and break free from his mother's overbearing presence. This is what makes it a coming-of-age gangster film, because even though he's definitely not a kid anymore, the film is essentially his journey from "youngster" to grown adult while maintaining his integrity (sort of). It's a riot, and will leave you grinning.
Gavras worked with Vincent Cassel in his first film (Our Day Will Come) and brings him back for this one, but surprisingly doesn't overuse him. Cassel takes a minor side role, and his character is quiet and confused most of the time, which impressed me because few directors have this restraint (with a majorly talented actor). It shows that Gavras has a real grasp on storytelling and crafting characters, and knows how to work them into the story in just the right way. Never too much, just the right amount. The result is a film that is enjoyable from start to finish, yet still breaks the gangster film mold. It doesn't glorify the gangster world as much as it makes fun of it, and show that maybe there is a chance to break free if you give it your best shot and stay smart. That's a refreshing twist, topped off with a great soundtrack and eccentric characters galore.
Alex's Cannes 2018 Rating: 9 out of 10
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